Baking with honey: Substituting Honey for Sugar
Baking with honey instead of table sugar can be done, once you
understand the differences and how to adjust for them! We've
emphasized the really important points.
How much Honey to Use?
When substituting honey for granulated table sugar in recipes,
keep in mind, honey has more fructose than table sugar, so it is
In general, use 1/2 to 2/3 cup honey for each cup of
sugar in the baking recipe
It is a good idea to make a test run first; using both honey and
sugar; just swapping honey for up
to half of the sugar called for in the recipe.
More Tips and Considerations
- Honey adds moisture that table sugar does not have; reduce
any liquid called for by 1/4 cup for each cup of honey used
- Because honey is acidic and sugar isn't, in order for the
baked goods to rise, you need to compensate by adding
1/2 teaspoon baking soda for each cup of honey used.
- Because honey has more sugar per cup, it will brown or
caramelize quicker than sugar; so reduce the temperature
of the oven by 25°F.
- Honey is much more dense (weighs more per cup)
- Oil the measuring cup to stop honey from sticking to
measuring cups: brush or spray the liquid measuring cup with oil
before measuring and the honey will slide out easily
Honey adds flavor
Honey adds its own flavor to the finished product - that's
usually a good thing, but something to keep in mind with subtle
And since honey has different natural flavors, choose a honey
that complements your recipe. For example, if you are making
something with lemon, like lemon squares, try orange blossom honey.
Recipes using honey in baking
The National Honey Board has their own tested recipes using honey
in baking. These would probably work best:
Substituting honey for other sweeteners
- Molasses: To substitute honey for molasses, use
exactly the same amount. The resulting flavor and color will be
a but lighter and less heavy. The reverse is true if you swap
molasses for honey.
- Corn Syrup: To substitute honey for corn syrup, use
exactly the same amount, but reduce any other sweet ingredients,
since honey has more sweetening power than corn syrup.
- Brown Sugar (Demerara sugar or dark brown sugar):
Follow the equation for plain table sugar under General
Recommendations, but also substitute molasses for a portion of
the honey to retain the expected flavor - (brown sugar is just
white sugar where the molasses have not been completely removed
by refining). Brown sugar, on the other hand, attracts moisture,
so it will keep baked goods from drying out so quickly. Also,
brown sugar has some molasses in it, which adds moisture, and
certainly changes the taste.
- Raw Sugar (Soft Brown Sugar): Basically, raw sugar is
similar to dark brown sugar, but has much smaller crystals and a
higher portion of retained molasses, so follow the guidelines
for substituting honey for sugar above. If substituting raw sugar
for regular cane sugar or brown sugar, use about 20% more raw
- Treacle is the British generic name for
molasses or any syrup made during the refining of sugar cane.
Common names used are Treacle, Black Treacle, Molasses, Golden
Syrup and Blackstrap. "Lyle's Golden Syrup" is the most commonly
used brand in cooking. Follow the same guidelines for molasses,
Sioux Bee Honey
National Honey Board